New video from Liam – his Raspberry Pi has arrived!

The most excellent Liam Fraser is our youngest volunteer (he administers our downloads server, is behind a phenomenal series of YouTube tutorials for Raspi owners, and very politely and effectively kicks me when I forget to do things round here). His Raspberry Pi arrived on Saturday, and he’s put up some video about the experience. Enjoy!


ben avatar

Awesome :)
PS. First!

ukscone avatar

you didn’t mention that it was slower than it should be because i was trying to break your install at the same time :)

Liam avatar

Its great to see the pis in the real world, I cant wait for tomorrow now when mine arrives. I also think Liam does an excellant job with regards to video tutorials, hes taught me a lot over the last few months and more so than my IT lessons ;)

Congratulations Raspberry Pi

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

Oh boy just look at all the jealous responses on youtube!

Let’s all hope the backlog can be filled in within the next couple of months.

Is there a firm date yet for the educational release and are the unfortunate developer-release delays going to affect the educational release date?

Andy Cater avatar

The delays to the boards for replacing the Ethernet ports and CE and other compliance testing will mean that educational boards are fully ready for their users.

Those of us who ordered early may have been upset by the demand but we now have Farnell and RS pushing into mass production. It’s all good news – and the Raspberry Pi team still deserve all our congratulations.

DeliciousRaspberryCake avatar

That’s the thing really. Work on the Ethernet ports and CE/FCC testing was done surprisingly fast.

In the past there were some rumours about constructing an external casing (like see-through plastic or similar) after the circuit board design was done. If there needs to be a case designed, it will mean the raspberry pi is not yet completely ready for educational release.

Additionally there’s the construction of curriculum course material; though I understood these will be community-based projects.

I wish to add that I don’t mean to down-talk the project. It’s a huge achievement the device is now “out there in the wild” in the hands of hobbyists, programmers, enthusiasts, collectors, technicians and whoever was able to acquire one so far. It really is the very beginning of something big. Perhaps Raspberry pi can make computing more physical and less virtual. Think GPIO, but also hopefully letting people see that faster computers don’t mean it’s okay to put abstraction layers upon abstraction layers in programming languages (I’m looking at YOU java programmers). Occasionally you will even have to admit that the rate of software slowdown is greater than the rate of hardware speedup. In absolute terms this means a regression of the computer experience. I think it was Wirth who said this. With the limited computing capabilities of the raspi, software developers will have to take a step back to their roots. What does a program need to do, and what’s the best way to put that into code; rather than having sweet interfaces, fancy graphics and gigabytes of memory for SQlite databases and all sorts of other nonsense.

Jim Manley avatar

So, we can expect that you’re going to write an alternative OS completely in binary, right? Oh, that would be really hard without those pesky abstraction layers, like assembly language, right? There are trade-offs with every implementation choice, including how much time and effort needs to be expended to achieve a goal vs. computing resource demands. Every language, OS, development environment, etc., has advantages and disadvantages, and there can be many versions of any of them. In the case of Java, there is a Mobile Edition which is specifically designed to run on resource-challenged systems even more constrained than the Pi, such as cell phones with only a few MBs of RAM, anemic processors, and extremely limited network bandwidth.

It’s a very simple matter to write horribly-performing software in any language – it happens every day. The challenge in developing professional software using sound engineering principles is to balance the tool strengths and weaknesses, opportunity and resource costs, and schedule and financial costs. Choices depend on what’s more important and, as we engineers like to say: “Cheap, fast development time, and computing resource efficient: pick any two.”

ProDigit avatar

couldn’t agree with you more!
Although most software can be tweaked to not give you that commodore64 bit floppy drive loading feeling.

James Hylands avatar

Can you put chromium os on the rasbery pi and does it work well

JamesH avatar

No one has ever tried it, and it won’t be a quick/easy job. You re more than welcome to give it a go.

Scott Hunter avatar

I am a systems engineer, but moved into the world of becoming a Design and Technology teacher. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the PI!! It is a fantastic idea!

I have a quick qestion – does anybody know if the PI could handle a 3D CAD package such as FreeCAD? ( )

I already have a group of students that have begun drawing plans for a 3D FDM printer, similar to the Makerbot, but using the PI rather than an Arduino.

If somebody could email me back with an answer to the 3D CAD question, I would appreciate it!

[email protected]

jbeale avatar

Remember the RPi main processor is the speed of a Pentium 2 at 300 MHz, and the entire system has 256 MB ram, some of which is taken up by the GPU. If any given software runs well in Linux on such a system, then it will run well on the RasPi. And, the converse applies as well.

Ben W avatar

What are the chances of running old Archimedes, Amiga, Spectrum, etc software on there? Games that a mobile-phone screen would be too small to run? And/or languages (e.g. AMOS)? With that in mind, could you work with the team at the National Museum of Cumputing at Bletchley Park to benchmark the Raspberry Pi against some classic British (and foreign) home computers from the 1990s, 1980s and earlier?

Ben W avatar

^ Whoops! Sorry about the typo above [maybe you could edit it out when you moderate the comment/question? and maybe you could add this link? ]


JasonS avatar

The Pi should have enough grunt to emulate those systems – though some emulators might need additional work/tweaking to work well.
I think you’ll probably want to limit your expectations for Amiga – the A500 should be fine, not sure about AGA/higher clocked machines though I’d be happy to be wrong about this.
It certainly won’t be long until we know though.I was thinking about adding a matrix to the wiki describing which systems run, and how well.

chris avatar

Could you try to mount a samba share and play a video?


John avatar

I’m aware there are a handful of XMBC projects in progress at the moment, I’m not sure on their level of maturity, would you be able to investigate now you have a shiny new Pi?

Great video, and fantastic to see despite a few set backs the project has prevailed and boards are now in the hands of (lucky) individuals.

Fred avatar

I second this request. I am looking to use this mainly for video access and playback. Thanks so much for your tutorials and I look forward to getting my board and the the case kit I am getting From ModMyPi.

Ultracopier Ultimate avatar

What is the more slow, storage device, cpu, gpu? (In desktop usage)

JamesH avatar

Storage devices are always the slowest part of a system. Although your post does look like spam to me…

Ultracopier Ultimate avatar

Depends of you usage, with linux cache/buffer, in my case it’s mainly the cpu the limitation.

Andrew Jones avatar

Is Scratch included in the new Debian release?

Andrew Cater avatar

There is at least one Scratch package in Debian Testing/Wheezy – squeak-plugins-scratch

Semtex avatar

Great job Liam. Can you tell us what brand, class and size of SD card you were using please?

H.C. avatar

It would be nice to show if Apache runs well…

nicknml avatar

It would be interesting to see how apache, bind, samba, and even openvpn perform.

Daniel avatar

I’d rather give lighttpd a try on the pi.

Dazzler avatar

Only right Liam managed to get his mits on a first batch Pi for all his hard work and efforts on the project. Now put it back in the box Liam and get on with your exams :-)

Bastian avatar

Good for Liam he got his Raspberry. I’m looking forward to mine, but it’s a little difficult over here in Germany

Sebastian avatar

I live in germany too and I got the Congratulation-Mail from RS Comp (for being in the first batch)… but still no message about ordering… you too?

Hans L avatar

Would it be possible to run glxgears? I’d be curious to see the framerate performance.

Jaseman avatar

Can you please update the FAQ page to reflect that Debian is the supported OS – Not Fedora? Otherwise it’s a bit confusing.

SN avatar

Request to Liam: – can you pull the Gambas2 package set onto you Pi and see if it runs without a Segmentation Fault please?

rew avatar

> Need to get 52.3 MB of archives.
> After this operation, 143 MB of additional disk space will be used.

That’s quite a lot. If I remember I might try that later.

Rasi avatar

Thanks Liam. Can you try to install JVM on the pi ?

rew avatar

Wohoooo!!!! :-) :-D

Anybody know the username/password for the debian image posted a while back? (not the 13-04 one, that one is still imaging to my other SD card….)

liz avatar


rew avatar

Forget about it…. The new image is done imaging…. :-)

rew avatar

Thanks Liz!
Rereading my comment may sound a bit rude, with your post inbetween my two. I didn’t see your reply before I posted that and being rude to myself I find acceptable, not to you. So: Sorry… :-)

liz avatar

No probs – I thought that was probably what had happened!

NML avatar

Using the gcc toolchain, could you demonstrate compiling in FORTRAN.
Source file called “source.f” containing 2 lines (the END is mandatory):
bash command:
$ gfortran source.f -o executable 2> errorfile.err &
Many thanks.

rew avatar

wolff@raspberrypi:~$ gfortran source.f -o executable
wolff@raspberrypi:~$ ./executable

NML avatar

Excellent. Many thanks for doing that.
In all the talk about other languages, I was a bit worried someone may have left out the FORTRAN.

Marian avatar

These teasers are killing us, do you know that ? Do it one more week and your audience will be reduced due to massive suicide around the world.

Jack avatar

I’ve been having a look at Fedora 16 on my laptop (running from LiveCD). Any chance you could try that out and see how it runs? I need to know whether re-downloading it on perilously slow internet and putting it onto an SD card is worth my while!

rew avatar

I”m not going to do that anytime soon. I’m more used to debian-like OSes (Ubuntu). I was going to run Debian even though Fedora was recommended, but now Debian has been promoted to the recommended distro…..

problemchild avatar

Well mine’s arrived. UPS as delivered it to my neighbour whilst I’m here at work ;( !!

So no excusses new Job and new toy …. Christmas in Spring time ..COOL !!


Your nameJason Young avatar

A little slow can be a good thing. It could encourage programmers to write code that uses the hardware more efficiently. When David Braben co-wrote Elite he used some very clever techniques to get the most out of the hardware.

NickMon68 avatar

Can you cover setting up SAMBA please

Lars T. Hansen avatar

sudo apt-get –assume-yes install samba

marketing avatar

Wow waiting so long for this!! And finally now in distribution :):) Long life to this new device!

Mark Gowdy avatar

Awesome, well done.
I was planning on running a DLNA server (if I can ever get to order one).

sam avatar

oh dear,oh dear,oh dear,oh dear,oh dear,oh dear.

Come on! its not a toy so way handle it like it is.

breaking the rpi is easy but getting replacemant isnt

JamesH avatar

Er, what are you trying to say?

TBH, it’s not that easy to break one.

Steve avatar

Maybe ESD precautions?
I certainly had a “my god, don’t handle it like that” moment during the video.

Liam Fraser avatar

Still working well. I’m not sure if it was James H on the ofrums but someone said they just throw it into their bag and apparently it’s still fine.

Joseph Harry Bunce avatar

Can you see how chrome/chromium web browser works on the pi.

CP/M avatar

So, the impression I am getting is that it is v e r y s l o w .
Reminds me of the time when someone replaced the BASIC chip in a ZX81 with FORTH and an extra 2k of RAM – Claimed it had enough computing power to run a nuclear power station. I suspect there will develop a minimalist clique who will cut graphical interfaces on both O/S and applications to the bare bones – run wholly in memory on the RasPi and acceptably fast, too. IMpompousO, there’s too much form over function these days. ‘Bout time kids learned to tinker under the bonnet (hood) again….

JamesH avatar

You are aware its a 700Mhz Arm (about P3 300Mhz speed)?

CP/M avatar

My first PC (after a Beeb) was a 386sx, so no criticism of the RasPi – 300 MHz is a huge amount of computer power – provided it’s not wasted on unnecessary graphics and services. Consider the early Novell servers – simple text-graphics menu system which took hardly any resources – unlike the later Windows servers. Horses for courses. Learn to remove anything which isn’t needed to give that little bit more memory, that little bit more speed, to get the job done. My concern is an expectation that the RasPi will be expected to perform like a dual-core 3GHz straight out of the bag, with most of those cycles achieving nothing.

Liam Fraser avatar

Yeah I have that concern too. Which is why I guess I kept reminding people not to expect a powerhouse.

Joshua Haynes avatar

Quick Question, how about the media center Distro? Also. Will it run 16-bit games just fine?

Andrew avatar

Liam, could you run ffmpeg encoding to see, what to expect in that area?

Sparky avatar

Nice one, Liam. Thanks for the demo.
Great tutorials as well on YouTube.
Tiz appreciated.

elatllat avatar

Request to Liam:
Please fill in some of the missing benchmark here:

Problemchild avatar

Mine as too only another 300K or so then the first lots will be happy ;)
Thanks to every one who put in loads of time gettingthe project off the ground!

Shaun avatar

Silly off topic comment here… To my not-well-traveled American ear, it seems like Liam and Eben have a very similar accent (which to me sounds different than the typical English/British accent I am more familiar with). Is that a regional accent, or am I just hearing something that isn’t there?

Sorry for the off topic comment, accents have always been interesting to me…

NML avatar


Recommended viewing to explain this side of the pond:
Song #2 “Why can’t the English?”

Both available from a certain well known e-commerce vendor in the US.

Jim Manley avatar

Another outstanding video from Liam! Give him a double ration of whatever he likes and is legal for a 17 year-old to drink :D

I would like to ask one tiny, miniscule favor of our videographers – please, please, please use a tripod when shooting video, and if you can shift to video from the screen itself (rather than a camera aimed at the screen), that would be greatly appreciated. The tripod is needed to keep some with motion sensitivity from losing their lunch (not me, but a good friend suffers from this). If you can’t even get one of the mini-tripods meant to sit on a desk, or the gripping kind with bendable legs, then at least put the camera on a pile of books, or clamp it to something. The worst combination is holding the camera in one hand and an object (e.g., a Pi board) in the other hand – then you have _two_ things moving in free space, and I have to admit that, on close-ups, even I can retaste my lunch, and I spent a career sailing the bounding main on LGBs (Large Gray Boats :) ).

And We Thank You for Your Support,
Bartles and Jims ;)

neil avatar

Has anyone tried using a class 10 sd card with the pi ?

JamesH avatar

Please search the forum – this has been covered.

killor avatar

Can update the RPI measures to make the cases?
Thank you very much!!

Manjot avatar

“Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 raspberrypi tty1” When booting I cant seem to get past this line. Any suggestions?

JamesH avatar

Please post on the forum – you won’t get much response here.

Manjot avatar

Ok, thanks.

Simon Hyde avatar

Will it run Pure Data as I am keen to use it for Live Video mixing

JamesH avatar

No idea, doubt anyone has tried it. Also doubt it could handle real time video mixing without GPU help, and I seriously doubt that is in place.

ProDigit avatar

Try running the OS from a USB stick instead of the SD card.
Compare booting time,
USB Flash is supposed to be faster.
Fastest USB sticks I’ve tried so far are corsair and the top/performance line of transcend.

Daniel avatar


When i run startx on my Pi Debian I get:
Linux: Disabled on system
Signal 11 (segmentation fault). Server aborting

Can anyone advise?

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